A “grand coalition” featuring both the center-right Christian Democrats and the center-left Social Democrats would probably be the best possible German government for the world right now. Currently, the Christian Democrats’ coalition with the liberal-but-nationalistic Free Democrats is to an extent holding Chancellor Angela Merkel back from taking the steps that need to be taken to resolve the European economic situation. So in that sense, it probably augurs well for the world that the Berlin branch of the SPD just formed a collation with the CDU rather than with the Green Party. But my heart sank when I read that Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowerweit “ditched talks with the Greens, fearing they would hamper infrastructure projects such as a city-motorway extension and the opening of a new airport.”
City-motorway extension? Yes sir. As you can see at the right, Berlin was — like many other cities around the world — afflicted with an intra-urban freeway, Autobahn 100, during the 1950s. But Berlin was partially rescued by the Cold War, which prevented the East Berlin half proposed ring road from actually being built. Now the plan is to finally finish the thing which will damage the neighborhoods directly afflicted by construction and, by speeding automobile commutes, encourage commuters to sprawl out into the surrounding suburbs.